The state of Michigan finally got some good news Thursday when it learned that General Motors chose its Orion Township plant as the location that will produce the automaker's future small car. GM plans to make up to 160,000 cars at the plant, likely over two shifts.

When the General announced that it was entering bankruptcy on June 1, Orion was one of 14 facilities that was going to be closed under the automaker's recovery plan. GM then said that Orion was under consideration for a future small car, along with the Spring Hill, Tennessee plant that currently builds the Chevy Traverse and the recently closed Janesville, Wisconsin facility.

GM made no bones about the fact that the winning plant will get the need based not on the merits of the plant, but the size of the state and local incentives. The Detroit Free Press is reporting that the Township gave GM a 25-year tax abatement that could ultimately save the struggling automaker $100 million in that time frame. We're guessing officials figure that's a small price to pay for the chance to keep 1,200 good-paying jobs in a region that sorely lacks other employment options. GM is expected to make an official announcement about Orion today.

[Source: The Detroit Free Press | Image: Bill Pugliano/Getty]

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